We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the U.S., and the business community finds itself in a very uncertain environment.
Of course, this is not the first crisis we have faced. I have lived through multiple economic recessions, the 9/11 attacks, multiple major business disruptions and more. And this crisis won’t be the last. That’s why it’s important to take time today to prepare your business for the next crisis, so you can weather the storm and come out on the other side stronger.
Preparing for a crisis can lessen the negative impact on your business, and it provides confidence for your employees and clients. Ignoring crisis preparation puts you at risk for losing your business at worst, reduced revenue and disillusioned employees at best.
Here are four ways you can prepare your business for the next crisis that hits.
1) Secure a Line of Credit
If a crisis hits, it’s not necessarily the end. You might just need a little help to get past a rough patch before things turn around. Secure a line of credit so you have extra working capital in reserve when unexpected events hit.
2) Create a Crisis Management Handbook
Stress and uncertainty can cloud your judgement. That’s why you should develop a plan before a crisis strikes. Envision several of the most likely disruptions to your business and think what you will need to do if they occur. Put action steps into a crisis handbook to guide you in a crisis.
3) Communicate with Your Team
In advance of a crisis, let employees at all levels know that there is a crisis management handbook and a plan in place. Reinforce to all that this will be the path to follow in a crisis, and there will not be panic or as much uncertainty when a crisis occurs.
4) Communicate with Clients and Stakeholders
Immediately when a crisis occurs, be prepared to communicate with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. Be proactive to advise and reassure them of your advance planning, the recent and upcoming steps you are taking, and maintain their confidence in you and your team.
If you haven’t prepared your business for a crisis, now is the time to take lessons learned and craft a strong plan for the future. Your business will be stronger and healthier because of your work.